Gardner and Clark • The Good of Goshen

Jennifer Gardner and Jenny Clark

Goshen High School, Senior Class Organizers, Class of 2020

From the very beginning, once we knew we were going to finish the year in a distance-learning format, we knew that graduation was going to end up looking a little bit different. The big question mark was how different was it going to look, and to what extent we would be able to provide some normality in terms of the way the service used to be.

It’s been really difficult for seniors. They’ve given up their prom and their honors banquet and all the things we would normally guide them with at the end of the year. Those things have disappeared and been virtual or been about driving by the school and getting something in the backseat of their car. We’re meeting the requirements, but the experience isn’t the same.

I think everyone is disappointed that it couldn’t be the way that it normally is, but for the most part people are understanding that this is the best that we could do. They’re glad that they got to do an in-person ceremony instead of it being all virtual. They understand why getting 450 seniors together at once would be very difficult.

We are keeping it all under 250 people for each ceremony to comply with Gov. Holcomb’s directive.

Goshen schools put students first, always. When we’re planning our lessons, when we are working on professional development, when we look at the structure of our school day, students are the No. 1 piece. All the other pieces kind of fall in afterward.

We’re doing six different ceremonies that are smaller groups. This is definitely more work for us, but it wasn’t about making it an easy process for us. It was about giving the students the best possible ceremony that we would be able to offer them.

It’s not just the two of us who have done all of the planning. It really is a group effort between our school administration at the central office and in the building, our custodians, our school secretaries, our health officials. Everybody kind of pulls together when it comes to putting something like this together, and this year is no different.

Writing, editing, and photography by Scott Weisser and Neil King

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